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Maryland fires Durkin 24 hours after reinstating him

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Less than 24 hours after announcing head coach D.J. Durkin would be reinstated as the Maryland Terrapins head coach, the university has reversed course and according to multiple reports has been fired. 

Maryland’s 247sports site indicates that those reports are true, as they were able to confirm via an athletics department spokesperson. Durkin apparently notified the team in a meeting earlier this afternoon and we just recently received notice as well. 

What changed in 24 hours? Instead of internal politics within the University of Maryland System, it appears outside political pressure changed the minds of the powers that be.

Loh met with academic and student organizations and they were less than happy with the decision to keep Durkin on as their head coach. 

He also had plenty of pressure from the highest political office in the state — governor Larry Hogan — who was less than happy to see the decision that was made by the Board of Regents and Loh. 

“While the university system is required by law to operate independent of political influence, and as such no governor has the ability to hire or fire any university personnel or members of the Board of Regents, I can and will demand that the university is held accountable for making the reforms they have pledged to put in place with the full transparency that the students, parents and faculty expect and deserve,” Hogan stated. “The University System of Maryland has let down the University of Maryland community and the citizens of Maryland, and now is the time to fix it.”

Loh and the decision makers seemed to be living in a bubble, unaware of the optics and the pressure that was coming from power structures within the student body, academic faculty and the people in the state house as well. 

It’s just another example of the mess that Loh has made of things since coming aboard in 2010. About the only thing he has done right is get Maryland in to the Big Ten and enrich an athletic department that was awash in debt. 

Since then its been a series of mishires and horrible decisions. All of which have led to a player that should’ve never died in Jordan McNair, a program with a sense of “toxic culture” and a leadership group that did not lead under his hiring and direction. 

Maryland has a lot of soul searching and moving on from Durkin is step one in fixing that problem. Doing it just 24 hours after making a big deal of his return just continues to smack of an entire university leadership group that doesn’t get it. 

Andy Coppens is the Founder and Publisher of Talking10. He's a member of the Football Writers Association of America (FWAA) and has been covering college sports in some capacity since 2008. You can follow him on Twitter @AndyOnFootball

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